LAHORE - The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is facing problems to combat cyber crimes as the relevant bill is still lying with President Mamnoon Hussain for his assent.

Even though the bureau registered 150 cases during last year and arrested several people involved in cyber crime, most of the accused got benefit of absence of comprehensive laws, sources in FIA told The Nation.

Legal experts say when law is tabled with President of Pakistan it does not take time to be signed and becomes an act. But the human rights activists and NGOs are opposing legislation against cyber crimes.

In the absence of sufficient laws, the cyber crimes have grown alarmingly in the country since lawyers plead the case of their clients successfully.

At present, the FIA Cyber Crime Circle is taking action under Electronic Transaction Ordinance (ETO) which was framed to deal with banking transactions only. Now when cyber crimes have expanded to the level of social networks like Facebook and Twitter which have billions of users, laws are also needed to be amended.

“Every now and then we receive complaints of blackmailing on Facebook and other social media networks,” an FIA investigator told The Nation.

“In most of these cases, people lodge complaints with FIA. But when an accused is traced and produced in court, the family members of victims refuse to pursue their cases. They fear that the case proceedings will bring bad name to their family.

“This also affects the conviction rate of FIA,” the officer added.

According to FIA statistics, the National Response Center for Cyber Crime (NR3C) received some 2100 complaints during the year 2015 while 434 were pending from 2014 out of which 371 were converted into enquiries and 1604 were disposed of and 559 were still pending.

Similarly, the NR3C received 298 enquiries brought forward from 2014 and during the last year. Some 460 enquiries were registered and out of total 758 enquiries, 46 were converted into cases and 441 were disposed of, closed, transferred or merged and 271 remained pending.

Over 150 cases were brought forward while 128 were registered during 2015. Out of total 270 cases, 142 accused were challaned, while five cases were disposed of and 123 are still pending.

The NR3C had 44 proclaimed offenders on its list while two were added during year 2015, and out of total 46, only six accused were arrested and 40 POs are still at large.

Nine court absconders were forwarded and they are yet to be arrested, shows the data provided by FIA.